ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

What Makes the United States Marine Corps Military Fighting Unit?

Updated on January 16, 2018
john000 profile image

John was a Navy hospital corpsman. He worked the general sick bay, managed a carrier O.R., and treated heat rash, eczema, and dyshidrosis.

United States Marine Corps Dates

Eagle, Globe, and Anchor for the dress uniform: officer
Eagle, Globe, and Anchor for the dress uniform: officer | Source

An Emphasis on Leadership Among All

An Adherence and Respect for Tradition

Many are filled with awe upon sight of the United States Marine Corps marching around in uniform with their heads held high showing a fearless look on their faces. They are often featured in movies about valor in times of war and are true to life heroes, as the news would have it. But it is not enough to say that you know about the Marine Corps completely because the truth is, you have barely scratched the surface. There is more to them than meets the eye, and there are a lot of things to learn before you can understand what really makes the United States Marine Corps a fighting unit.

An intense familiarization with the Marine Corps' history of valor is required of all rifleman (all Marines), while upholding that history is what makes the U.S. Marine Corps such a formidable fighting force.
An intense familiarization with the Marine Corps' history of valor is required of all rifleman (all Marines), while upholding that history is what makes the U.S. Marine Corps such a formidable fighting force. | Source
During WWI, the German army nicknamed the U.S. Marines, the Devil Dogs.The official mascot of the United States Marine Corps, English bulldog Pfc. Chesty the XIV, sits for his official photo at Headquarters Marine Corps Combat Camera in the Pentagon.
During WWI, the German army nicknamed the U.S. Marines, the Devil Dogs.The official mascot of the United States Marine Corps, English bulldog Pfc. Chesty the XIV, sits for his official photo at Headquarters Marine Corps Combat Camera in the Pentagon. | Source

History of the United States Marine Corps

The United States Marine Corps was originally founded as the Continental Marines in November 10, 1775. The first members were recruited in Pennsylvania, to serve as landing troops for the Continental Navy. The organization was abolished after the American Revolutionary War in April 1783, but re-established 15 years later. Nonetheless, the Marines celebrate its anniversary on November 10.

Having been formed to provide landing troops, the U.S. Marine Corps has participated in every conflict involving the United States ever since. Prior to World War II, leaders in the United States Marine Corps espoused the importance of specialized landing troops in the future. Marines in the 1920s and 1930s were heavily trained in amphibious warfare. This type of warfare involves United States Marines as beachhead attacking forces supported by Navy bombardment and combined military air forces. This maneuver is the most complicated of all requiring pinpoint timing to cover the United States Marines. It is therefore the most dangerous form of attack. The United States Marine Corps is the supreme amphibious force in the world, and acts as a quick response unit (expeditionary force) to implement United States power abroad.

Enemies of the United States are quite familiar with the U.S. Marine Corps. Their reputation for tenacity, hard fighting, and improvisation has followed them across the world. For example, in World War 1, the German Army called them the "Devil Dogs". The name is still associated with them.

How is the United States Marine Corps Different from other Fighting Units?

Under the direction of the Department of Defense, the armed forces of the United States have four divisions the United States Army, the United States Air Force, the United States Navy, and the United States Marine Corps. Although their main purpose is to secure peace and order within the country's territory, each has specific tasks to take in hand. These tasks, however, are what make the Marine Corps fighting unit stand out from the rest.

The Marine Corps fighting unit serves as the amphibious attack force meaning they operate both on land and water. A United States Marine Air Unit is always part of the expeditionary force and provides CLOSE IN air support. While the US Army is in charge of ground-based military operations, the US Navy of safeguarding the United States coasts and projecting power over the sea, and the US Air Force of commanding the airborne warfare, the US Marine Corps is the primary offensive unit both at sea or on the shore. During a battle, before any of the other units can make their move and take control of their posts, the Marines will do the initial attack, and then stand as guards while the other troops move in. For example, in Korea, Marines were called on to hold the line against North Koreans until large military forces and equipment could arrive.

The United States Marine Corps Training

Men and women who wish to serve in the military go through a series of challenges during recruitment. But before anyone can get accepted to train either in Parris Island SC or San Diego CA, some requirements must be met, which include passing the written examination specifically given to military applicants, and physical analysis by a duly appointed physician. There are slight variations in terms of height and weight requirements for male and female applicants, but everything else is generally the same.

Many of those who have gone through training say that the Marine Corps training is the most difficult thing they ever had to do in their entire life. The training entails very arduous 13-week long boot camps, and formations are done daily including Sundays and holidays. But not only do recruits endure intense physical exertion, they also have to memorize tons of information in order to move on. An example of the rigorous training is the Crucible. This is a 54 hour field exercise where all information and training are tested under strenuous conditions. During the Crucible, forty-eight miles will be marched. As the exercise continues there are martial arts challenges, attacking uphill, navigations courses, patrols, and operations on limited sleep.

Critical Marine War Planning

Because of the futuristic thinking and planning of the United States Marine Corps, a fighting force was available at the beginning of World War II to engage Japanese forces in the Pacific.

The United States Marine Corps earned their reputation in the 18th & 19th century. They carried the US insignia and fought several wars in the Caribbean and Asia Pacific regions. Here are some of the conflicts that the United States Marine Corps has participated in with high distinction: Tripoli, War of 1812, Chapultepec, first Barbary War, Battle of Monterrey, Formosa Expedition, and at least 64 more engagements. The fighting unit doubled in number during World War II and fought heavily against the Imperial Japanese troops. In recognition of their roles in these battles, the USMC War memorial in Arlington, VA was dedicated in 1954.

A lot of other significant events followed, with the US Marine Corps fighting unit often in the forefront. The Vietnam War proved their patriotism when they helped in the successful evacuation of the American embassy in Saigon. The US Marine Corps are also given credit for their participation in the Persian Gulf War that earned Kuwait its freedom from Iraq in 1991. Although the United Nations strives to maintain peace among countries, conflicts still arise, and the Marines are never far from the action.

Final Thoughts

In summary, the Marines Corps has made several important contributions to what the United States is today. Although it may be compared to the other units of the armed forces, it has unique functions that are most notable in times of war. Memorials have been constructed in honor of their heroism, and many are inclined to give Marines a respect that is more than other soldiers receive. Such a dedication of the United States Marine Corps to their duties may be attributable to the rigorousness of their training, or the stringency of the rules of the organization. The U.S. Marine Corps has adopted the saying, "Improvise, Adapt and Overcome". It is to this end that the U.S. Marine Corps focuses on physical and mental fitness, loyalty, dedication to each other, and patriotism. Dedication again is demonstrated in their motto "Semper Fidelis" meaning always faithful. It is a common greeting between Marines - or the shortened version, Semper Fi.

Aircraft carried: Up to 19 Sea Stallions, 26 Sea Knights, or mixed airgroup 6 Harrier jump-jets
Aircraft carried: Up to 19 Sea Stallions, 26 Sea Knights, or mixed airgroup 6 Harrier jump-jets | Source

What, If Any, Family Military Tradition Do You Have?

See results

© 2014 John R Wilsdon

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • john000 profile imageAUTHOR

      John R Wilsdon 

      11 months ago from Superior, Arizona

      I couldn't agree with you more.

      Thanks to you and your son for your service. When you serve in the military, you not only understand the need for discipline, you also learn what the rest of the world is like. As a result, one is less likely to take the U.S. for granted. You and your family be well.

    • Larry Fish profile image

      Larry W Fish 

      11 months ago from Raleigh

      Always good to read about our military, John. My son is a retired 20 year Marine, having served 3 tours of duty in Iraq. Myself I was in the Air Force during Vietnam, however my time was served in Texas, Florida, and the Philippines. I still feel that the draft never should have ended. I think every able bodied man should serve in the military.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)